Charlemagne – Act Two, Scene One

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Enter ORLANDO, REINALDO, OLIVER, Soldiers, and Attendants.

 

 ORLANDO
O that my curse had power to wound the stars
That with a more than envious aspect
Thus rack me and my fortunes.  Married?
I could almost brable with destiny
For giving this curs’d marriage holy form
And sure it err’d in’t.  ‘Tis no Gordian knot
That ties such a disparity together;
But what will not, sooth’d princes?  Their high blood
A flattery draws to’th’lees and more corrupt
Than a disease that’s killing.  Now must I
Like to an argosy sent richly forth
Furnish’d with all the mighty, oppose the winds
And bide the fury of the sea god’s rage,
Trusted with half the wealth a kingdom yields,
Having instead of adding to her store,
Undone herself and made a thousand poor,
Meanly returning without mast or helm,
Cable or anchor, quite unrigg’d, unmann’d,
Shot through and through with artificial thunder,
And natural terror of tempestuous storms,
Must, that had been the wonder of the world
And loved burthen of the wanton seas,
Be now a subject fit for all men’s pity
And like to such not cared for a jot
<…ob>scure ditch must lie by and rot,
And so must I.

REINALDO
His dotage makes him think
Himself so happy in this curs’d match
That when the news of your success arrived,
Though clad in laurel and fair victory,
He had no ear for’t, all his powers being fill’d
With a supposed joy conceiv’d in her.

OLIVER
He has not dealt like Charlemagne t’expose
You to the horror of a civil war,
And whilst your loyalty made glorious way
To his wish’d end of conquest thus to cross
Your fair succession.

ORLANDO
‘Twas a speeding plot
To send me into Spain, whilst Ganelon
Took the right course, yet if had been here
The envious destiny that doth attend
On all my undertakings would have made
My best means useless to have hindered it,
Begin cut by reviser>
For not the coinage of sly Ganelon,
Charlemagne’s dotage, nor her witching eye,
To whom I now must be obedient,
Can challenge any share in my disgrace
But mine own fortune that did never smile
But when it gave me a full cause to curse;
And were the way to my succession free,
As when I left the court, yet gainst all sense
And possibility something sure would spring
From my mere fate, to make another king
So, torrent-like, my fortune ruins all
My right of birth and nature.

REINALDO
You have done ill
To sooth his age unto this violence.

OLIVER
With penitence ‘tis confess’d, considering
Prevention hath quite led us and no way’s
Left either for revenge or remedy.

ORLANDO
I am the very foot-ball of the stars,
Th’anatomy of fortune, whom she dissect
With all the poisons and sharp corrosives
Styl’d in the limbic of damn’d policy.
My stars, my stars!
O, that my breath could pluck them from their spheres
So with their ruin to conclude my fears.
<End cut by reviser

Enter LA BUSSE.

 REINALDO
Smother your passion, sir.  Here comes his son.
A property o’th’court that least his own
Ill-manners should be noted.  Think it fit
In policy to scoff at other men’s.
He will tax all degrees and think that that
Keeps him secure from all taxation.

ORLANDO
You are deceiv’d.  It is a noble gentleman
And hated of his father for his virtues.

LA BUSSE
Health and all blessings where with heaven and earth
May comfort man, wait on your excellence.

ORLANDO
Although I know no man’s good wish or prayers
Can e’er be heard to my desired good,
I am not so void of humanity
But I will thank your love.

REINALDO
Pray, sir, what news
Hath the court lately been deliver’d of?

LA BUSSE
Such as the gallimaufry that is sown
In her large womb may promise he that has
The fairest virtues, wears the foulest shirt
And knows no shift for’t, none but journeymen priests
Invay against plurality of livings
And they grow hoarse i’th’cause, yet are without
The remedy of sugar candy for’t.
Offices are like hunting breakfast got
Hurlyburly.  Snatch’d with like greediness
Ay, and almost disjested too as soon.

OLIVER
Ay, but in sober sadness, what does there?

LA BUSSE
Faith, very little, sir, in sober sadness,
For there disorder hurries perfect things
To mere confusion; nothing there hath form
But that which spoils all form, and to be short
Vice only thrives and merit starves in court.

REINALDO
What of the marriage of your noble aunt,
Our fair-eyed royal empress?

LA BUSSE
Troth, I wonder’d, sir,
You spoke of it not sooner, yet I hope
None here are jealous that I brought one spark
To kindle that ill flame.

ORLANDO
No, of my troth,
I know thee much too honest.  But how fares
The empress now my dear exequetress?

LA BUSSE
Sir, as a woman in her case may do,
She’s brought <to> bed.

REINALDO
What, hath she a child then?

LA BUSSE
Ay, my lord.

ORLANDO
A son?

LA BUSSE
Misfortune hath inspir’d you, sir; ‘tis true.

ORLANDO
Nay, when misfortune falls me at a pinch,
I will think blaspheme a deed of merit.
O, heart, will nothing break thee?

REINALDO
‘Tis most strange.
Begin cut by revisor>

ORLANDO
Strange?  Not a whit.  Why if she had been spayed
And all mankind made eunuchs, yet in spite
My ill-fate would have gotten her with child
And of a son too.  Henceforth let no man
That hath a project he doth with to thrive
Ere let me know it; my mere knowledge in’t
Would turn the hope’t success to an even
Yes would fright nature and make patience brawl
With the most pleasing object.
<End cut by reviser

LA BUSSE
Sir, be at peace.
Much may be found by observation.
Begin cut by reviser>

ORLANDO
Th’art both unfriendly and uncharitable.
This observation thou advisest to
Would rivet so my thoughts upon my fate
That I should be distract.  I can observe
Naught but variety of miseries
Crossing my birth, my blood and best endeavours.
I ne’er did good for any but great Charles
And the mere doing that hath still brought fourth
To me some plague too heavy to be borne,
But that I am reserv’d only to bear
The studies envy of malignant stars.
If Fortune be blind, as the poets hold,
It is with studying mine affliction.
But for her standing on a rolling stone,
Their learning fails them, for she fixed stands
And only against me.
<End cut by reviser

REINALDO
Move him no further,
But if your observation can find out
A cunning in the carriage of these ills
That may be questioned, I’ll tank your love
And be your servant.  Pray, be inquisitive.

ORLANDO
Inquisitive?  For what?  My miseries
Require no search; they plainly show themselves
And in their greatness crown what made them great,
The power of fortune, which by them being crown’d
Doth tyranny upon me.

Enter DIDIER.

DIDIER
Health attend
This honour’d presence; may your welcome home
Retain proportion with those worthy deeds
Whereby y’ave yearn’d all welcome.

ORLANDO
What is he?

DIDIER
How ere my duty and best wishes shall
Ever attend you, and those wishes be
Put into act to do you any service.

LA BUSSE
Th’art a gross flatterer and know there is
More sympathy betwixt mere contraries
Then twixt thy words and wishes.

DIDIER
Then your knowledge
Has no true right done to it, being so great
To be so little famed.  I never heard
That you ere did or durst know any thing
But dinner time and coronation day,
The tilters’ colours and their pages suits
But to their empress you still gave up
An ignoramus.

LA BUSSE
Th’art a parasite,
Thou and thy fortunes wait upon my father
And like an evil angel make him do
Those fearful things I tremble to deliver,
Therefore the love which thou protestest here
Can be at best but fain’d and bears more show
Of treachery than zeal.

DIDIER
How say you by that?

ORLANDO
Ganelon’s servant?
Begin cut by reviser>
Will it not suffice
The malice of my stars to press me down
With a most ponderous weight of injuries
But they must keep me waling with the sith
O’th’authos on’t to mix my suferings
With heat and anger?   Sirrah, how dare you
Upbraid me with you presence, or do you think
My wrongs and fortune have made me so tame
That I am a fit subject for your spleen
Your trencher’s envy and reversion rage
Or <end cut by reviser – art so great an infidel to doubt
My mischiefs snail-pas’d that thou spurrst on new
In full career upon me?

DIDIER
I disclaim
Ganelon’s service other than to serve
Your worthy ends, which is the only end
Whereto I ere seem’d his.

LA BUSSE
Monstrous deceitful villain!

ORLANDO
Impossible.  I cannot be so happy, and if thou
Bear but the least affection to my cause,
Thy fortunes like thy trenchers will be chang’d
To a sordid foulness that will loath thy nature.

DIDIER
For that no matter; I dare fortunes worst
In right of virtue, and if you’ll be pleas’d,
This screen may be removed that keeps away
All comfortable heat from every man
Which he stand near.  I’ll tell you things that shall
Confirm you I am yours.

ORLANDO
He shall not go
Not can I hope success in any thing,
More than my sword, and much less be confirm’d.

OLIVER
Pray, sir, withdraw.

REINALDO
Although I think this fellow means no good,
We may discover and present his ill.
Pray, leave us, sir.

LA BUSSE
I will, but yet beware that fellow.                                               [Exit.

DIDIER
I first desire
To be vowed unto your greatness,
Begin cut by reviser>  to which belief
The hazard of my life through all the dangers
That ever frighted weak mortality
Shall be an instigation;
<End cut by reviser –     First, sir, know
The empress is departed.

ORLANDO
Wither?  To hunt worse fortunes than I suffer?

DIDIER
Sir, she is dead; a fever shook her blood
After her child-bed sickness, and of it
She died last morning.

REINALDO
Wonderful!  What news of her young son?

DIDIER
It lives and is a princely little one.
Lewis the gentle call’d; a hopeful infant.

OLIVER
But small hope of the emperor’s right to it.

ORLANDO
How take his majesty the empress’ death?

DIDIER
Strangely; beyond all precedents of grief.
Being dead it seems he loves her ten times more
Than ere he loved her living, yet that love
Outwent all dotage in th’extremity,
He will not give her burial, but in’s arms
Carries her up and down, courts, kisses, toys,
Mourns when she makes no answer, often fains
To understand her silence, swears that death
Cannot, nay, dare not, hurt such excellence.

ORLANDO
Why, this is absolute madness!  Where is Bishop Turpin?
His reverence should persuade him.

DIDIER
So he hath,
But ‘tis in vain.  He hears naught but his passion.

ORLANDO
Why, still thou heapest upon me new misfortunes.

DIDIER
But will deliver comfort:  for some proof
Of mine intedgrity, know I was hir’d
By Ganelon to poison you.

REINALDO
What’s this?

DIDIER
To which performance I so sooth’d his hopes
That he believes ‘tis done.

ORLANDO
And so it had,
But that my fortune knew my death would be
Too great a blessing for me,
Begin cut by reviser>           and remove
The object fo her envy past her spleen.
What wretchedness is this!  Having indeed
All the world’s miseries that have a name,
A new one out of pity must be found
To add to infinites.  My heavy curse,
But that would be a blessing should reward thee
<End cut by reviser
And for thy disobedience to thy lord
I’ll torture thee, for I will wish thee well.

DIDIER
[Aside.] Did ere man’s preservation plague him thus?
Wonder confounds me!

REINALDO
My most worthy cousin,
Will you not take advantage of this plot?

ORLANDO
No.  What advantage?  The emperor’s ears are glued
‘Gainst all things but his passions.

DIDIER
Great sir, no;
The violence of his passion notwithstanding,
Having his death slain mistress in his arms,
He hears all causes criminal, as if
She did but slumber by him.

OLIVER
‘Tis an offer’d means
To bring your foe in hatred with the emperor.
Revive your hopes.

ORLANDO
As cordials do call back
A dying man from his approaching peace
To make h<im suffer sti>ll the mysteries
Of his past sickness.  I refuse it.
Begin cut by reviser>
And by my suff’rings now will show myself
Too noble to complain.  I ne’er could find
Pleasure or ease in others’ punishment,
Or if I were so base to take delight
In the afflictions of another man,
My fate would guard me from’t, for ‘tis decreed
That only I of all mankind shall ne’er
Be master of all hope shall have success.
So all the opposition I can make
Would only make my grieves ridiculous
And divorce pity from them;
<End cut by reviser –            Ne’er will I
Crave aught since fortune forceth to deny.                                                                          [Exit.

DIDIER
Here’s a strange humour.

OLIVER
Ay, but let it not deter you from his accusation.

DIDIER
I’ll justify what I have said.

REINALDO
Do so,
And both mine entertainment and reward
Shall pay thy love and faith.                                     [Exeunt all but DIDIER.

DIDIER
I do not like
This entertainment at the second hand;
It looks like barbers physic muddily.
Is this a welcome worthy of the love
I have express’d?  Had I took up his hawk
Or match’d a coach’d-horse for him, such a service
Had deserv’d more respect than he gives me.
I, like a wise man, have left certain means
For hope’d preferment; ‘twas discreetly done
And led by virtue too.  This virtue is
The scurvyest, harlotryest, undoing thing
That ever mix’d with rising courtier’s thoughts.
But’as a curse:  it is impossible
Ere to get into Ganelon again.
Begin cut by reviser>
Having not only not perform’d his will,
But told his purpose,
<End cut by reviser –  and how slight so ere
The Earl of Angiers holds this accusation,
‘Twill be examined.  Therefore I must through—
Begin cut by reviser>
But how?  Though it be true I cannot prove it
By other testimonies than my own,
And that his own denial will bereave me
Of the belief due to it.  Yet will
<End cut by reviser –                I stand to’t still.
To detect vice, heaven gives a power to will.

Enter GANELON.

GANELON
Y’are well me, sir.

DIDIER
I thank you.

GANELON
Th’art a villain.

DIDIER
It may be so; your lordship can define me
If you would show your reading or your practice.

GANELON
Orlando is return’d.

DIDIER
‘Tis well.

GANELON
It is,
But it had been better for your prov’d rogueship
Your heart had gorg’d a hawk.

DIDIER
Wa, ha ho, man,
Your buzzard is a kind of bird of prey,
Your lordship knows too, that will feed on all
Begin cut by reviser >
Unable to outfly or to resist,
But such persued, her baseness and her sloth
At once appear.
<End cut by reviser –  You understand me, sir?

GANELON
Now a lone kestrel seize thee!  Art thou flesh’d?
Must not encounter you but birds of rapine?

DIDIER
Good, good, you stretch a foul comparison,
The best that I have heard, but be assur’d,
I am no scarab for a kestrel’s breakfast.

GANELON
Why, you are grown a desperate daring rogue,
A roague of noise and clamour?  Are you not?

DIDIER
And in despite of all your bearful bells
Or greatness and authority, will turn head,
Fly in thy bosom, and so sting thee there
That thou shalt curse thy being.                                 [Exit.

GANELON
This is well,
Exceeding well; upbraided by my slave
Armed by my trust against me.  I could now
Wish a strong packthread had stitch’d up my lips
When I made this rogue inmate of my breast.
My serious counsels and’s own services
He sells like goods at outcries.  “Who gives most?”
Oh, what dull devil manag’d my weak braines
When first I trusted him?  Heart, I have made
My counsels my foe’s weapons, wherewith he
May would me deeply.  Sure he has reveal’d
My purpose and reward to poison him.
So I bestrid a mine which to my ruin
Wants but a spark, and farewell Ganelon!
Now the pox take my heart for trusting him!
What a brave noble creature were a man
<If he cou>ld but fo>rsee, and so prevent
<…> Nay, <of> his slave.

Enter RICHARD.

 RICHARD
Health attend you.

GANELON
O, my dearest sweet,
Thy presence makes thee master of thy wish,
For in it rests my health and happiness.
How does my best friend?  Faith, you look most sad
And we have both full cause.  My sister’s death
Hath like the moon in opposition
Put out the eye of heaven.  But doth the emperor
Still keep her in his arms?

RICHARD
Yes, still and still;
Nay, with such violence love seems to grow
And flourish most in death.  Mesantius’ wrath,
That tied dead to the living, seems in him
The joy of all man’s wishes.  Sooth, he is
Anything now but famous Charlemagne.

GANELON
I cannot blame him; ‘tis a fury man
Can neither tame nor conquer.  But, dear friend,
Is there no means to come to the dead queen
Out of the emperor’s presence?

RICHARD
Sir, there’s none.
He hath her evermore within his arms,
And when a’ sleeps, your sister Gabriella
Or the old Biship Turpin do attend her.

GANELON
Ay, there you name a new affliction.
That sister is an ulcer in my blood.
How do you with her doting passions?

RICHARD
‘Slight, them beyond your wishes.

GANELON
Thou dost amaze me with thy noble virtue
And thence I honour thee.  As for the maid,
Still let her frantic love receive repulse
And crown thy countenance, for though I was
Content the queen should stray, yet this
I would not have to fall for Christendom.

RICHARD
You need not fear me.  If only countenance
Yet mine own will is armour strong enough.

GANELON
I know’t, and here she comes.

Enter GABRIELLA.

GABRIELLA
Brother, God save you!  O, my noble Richard,
You make me old in the morning of my years.
Shall still your winter nip me?

GANELON
What do you mean?

GABRIELLA
T’express a love that’s good and virtuous.

GANELON
Fie!  This doth stain your noble modesty.

GABRIELLA
To tell before you mine affection
In public, I confess it would make me
A subject for taxation.

GANELON
Any where.
Come, a’must not love you.

GABRIELLA
Heavens forbid!
And I must tell you, brother, that I dare,
And with no other than a sister’s spleen,
Justify mine affection.

GANELON
So, and what wants this of impudence?

GABRIELLA
As much as you of charity if your tongue be
A faithful servant to your mind.

GANELON
‘Tis well.
You would be whored, maid, would you not?

RICHARD
Pray, forbear!

GABRIELLA
Your reprehension is unmannerly,
Which I’ll endure no longer.  Fair sir, know
I will not have my true love circumscrib’d
Within the limits of your policy.
Come, y’are wicked.

GANELON
Repentance would do well.

GABRIELLA
‘Tis a fit match for threescore and ten years
And at that sober age I mean to wed it.
Yet know that my desires are not so wild
But they stayhere, nor will I ever stray
Beyond this most loved object.

RICHARD
Say not so.
It never can return you recompense.
Virtue, my soul’s dower, which is not contract
And richly to be married unto heaven,
Shall ever keep my from affection.
Believe it, madam, I will never love.

GABRIELLA
Then have false hopes rais’d one to’th’top of all
Only to form my ruin in my fall.

GANELON
Nay, no more falling.  Come, my noble friend
And lady, cherish not these whorish longings.

[Exeunt GANELON and RICHARD.

GABRIELLA
Not cherish them?  Yes, blow them into flames
Great as the full desires that warm my blood.
What, am I young, fruitful, and somewhat fair,
And shall my pleasures bear the servile yoke
Of his strict rules and so chain up my blood
In manacles of ice?  First, I’ll dare
All plagues make men thin of mortality
But I will love him.  Yes, I will love him still
And so be served both in my lust and will.

Enter CHARLEMAGNE with the Queen in his arms, BISHOP TURPIN, LA BUSSE and Attendants.

BISHOP TURPIN
<G>ood <honou>red sir, let <m>e persuade <you,>
This dotage o’er the dead is monstrous,
Nor suits your greatness nor your gravity.

CHARLEMAGNE
No more; he that persuades me from this loved embrace
Is my most mortal enemy and here
I swear I’ll hate him to destruction.
O, Gabriella, come, thy sister sleeps
A long, long slumber, but she is not dead.
Goodness can never perish, or if so,
Yet death shall not divide us.  Why, I have
Not full so many minutes to survive
As one poor breath may reckon, and shall I
For that short space forget her?  No, we’ll stay
And close our loves both in one monument.

BISHOP TURPIN
[Aside.] Was never seen such an affection.

CHARLEMAGNE
Come, Gabriella, let us set her down.
Oh, seat her easily; do not hurt my queen.
The downy breath that sweeps alongst the meads,
Kissing the gentle flowers that sweeten him
Are storms and tempests to her tenderness.

[They place the dead body in a chair.

No air shall blow upon her.  Happy soul,
Indeed, I dearly love thee, for I see
The rose and lily springing in thy cheeks
Fresher than ever.  Death’s immortal scythe
Dare not offend thy branches.  Oh, thou art
A thing beyond mortal corruption.

LA BUSSE
What will a’ make of her?

BISHOP TURPIN
Even what his fancy pleases.

CHARLEMAGNE
If she be dead, how sweet a thing is death;
How rich, how glorious and unmatchable
And how much folly is in fearful man
To fly from that which is so amiable.                                                   [He sits by her.
Dear, give me leave to touch thee and imprint
My soul upon these rubies; all the fame
And garlands I have won through Christendom,
The conquests I have made of France, of Spain,
Of Italy, Hungaria, Germany,
Even to the utmost east point plac’d with thee
Are toys of worthless value.  Here’s my crown,
And but for this I were not Charlemagne.

BISHOP TURPIN
Alas, ‘tis she makes him not Charlemagne!

CHARLEMAGNE
Command some music; every man depart
But Turpin and my sister.

[Exit LA BUSSE and Attendants.  Soft music.

Heavy sleep
Presses me to her bosom.  Gentle sleep,
Let me not hurt thy goodness, for my rest
Shall but like soft air gently cover thee.

BISHOP TURPIN
What, madam; is he fall’n asleep?

GABRIELLA
Most soundly, sir.  Sadness from his soul
Hath charm’d his sense with slumber.

BISHOP TURPIN
Then, if it please your goodness to withdraw
And sit his highness’ chamber, I will watch
And call you at his waking.

GABRIELLA
Willingly.                                                                                                                [Exit.

BISHOP TURPIN
I have not seen so strong a fit as this.
It is beyond all fevers, for this fiend,
This most malignant spirit called love
Reigns in him above wonder; nay, above
Th’account of learning or experience.
I’ve read in younger studies there are charms.
Spells and devices to command mens’ hearts
That characters and images and scrolls
Can even bind the soul to servitude.
It may be that’s wrought on the emperor.
I know the heart of Ganelon to be
A mine of all deceitful policy
And this affection thus unnatural
Can but have such a father.  Sure, I’ll try
If I can find the coinage.  Pardon me, death
That I must once rifle thy treasury.

[He searches the Queen’s pockets, hands, neck, bosom and hair.

There’s nothing here conceal’d but death and cold,
And empty silence no companion.
What shall I then leave of; my heart says “no.”
I’ll yet break ope another cabinet.
Nay, I’ll part your lips; the mouth, they say,
Harbours most oft womens’ corruptions.
You cannot bite me, madam.  Ha, what’s this?
A ring, a very curious ring, a dainty ring,
Hid underneath her tongue.  Bless me, fate,
Something depends upon it.  What it is
I will approve and be the treasurer.

Enter GABRIELLA.

GABRIELLA
How now, my lord?  Awake the emperor?

BISHOP TURPIN
I saw him move even now; again he stirs.                                              [CHARLEMAGNE stirs.
Good sweet, excuse me.   When a’ doth awake
I will return immediately.                                                                                                               [Exit.

GABRIELLA
I will.

CHARLEMAGNE
Hey ho!
Who waits without?  Doth nobody attend?
<…> pleasure.
Ha!  Woman’s attendance?  In the name of change
When did Charles use such frailty?  Men at arms
Did ever guard me; am I now forsook?

Enter RICHARD, LA BUSSE and Attendants.

Oh, you are welcome!  Ha!  What creature’s this?
Death coupled to my bosom, to my chair?
What traitor show’d this emblem?  Why, my age
Did ne’er forget mortality, nor hath the wantonst thought in princes made me look
Beyond the hour of death.  Let me view her.

RICHARD
Here a change.  He will be Charles again.

LA BUSSE
Why, this makes all things more miraculous.

CHARLEMAGNE
‘Tis the dead empress!   In the name of health,
Who plac’d her body here?

RICHARD
Only your majesty,
From strength of whose embrace not any tongue
Had power to withdraw her.

CHARLEMAGNE
Gentle coz,
Do not take judgement from me; in my mind
Was ever fix’d a frantic passion,
But more of that hereafter; take it hence
And let the ladies guard it till it be
Interr’d with public solemn obsequies.

[Attendants, LA BUSSE and GABRIELLA carry away the dead.

Where is Orlando, my renowned nephew?

RICHARD
Without, attending you high pleasure.

CHARLEMAGNE
Good, coz, entreat his presence, that his face
May bless an old man’s sight.  Oh, ‘tis he                                             [Exit RICHARD.
Hath brought to France her wishes in such wreaths
Of uncompared conquests that it bends
With weakness of requital.  Here he comes.

Enter ORLANDO, REINALDO, OLIVER, RICHARD, DIDIER, and Attendants.

O, my best soldier, welcome.  I grow young
With thinking of thy glories.  Welcome, coz;
Welcome, renowned Oliver; welcome all
But thou, mine eagle, welcome as my health!
Th’ast brought me peace, the branch of happiness.

ORLANDO
The good that I have done, sir, is without me
And I partake not of it, but within me
I bring and bear more miseries than would
Unpeople your whole kingdom.

CHARLEMAGNE
What’s the matter?

ORLANDO
Sir, to let pass something without your power
Begin cut by reviser>
Now to be remedied,  I am persuaded,
Though I persuade myself to little purpose,
To <end cut by reviser –  tell you of a practise ‘gainst my life
By Ganelon.

CHARLEMAGNE
Call him.  You shall be heard,
You are to me too precious to take wrong.
Yet, nephew, be advis’d, for you do know
That indirect surmises more abuse
And in that strong abuse more deeply wound
An innocent breast than proves a guilty one.

ORLANDO
Sir, I know how much abuses wound
An innocent breast; mine keeps a register
Begin cut by reviser>
With corsives charactered on every side
Of the grief drinking paper, <end cut by reviser – but I say,
Were Ganelon here—

Enter GANELON.

 GANELON
As he is, my lord,
To answer every thing your abus’d nature,
The malice of this slave of of the world
Can charge me with.  Speak then the uttermost.

ORLANDO
I say you are a man that having long
Practis’d against mine honour in mine absence
At last didst deal with this just gentleman,
For so I must repute him, though his pity
Be mine affliction, to poison me.

GANELON
My emperor,
If this aspiration may find out a way
Thorough your easiness to wound mine honour,
Justice hath left the earth.

CHARLEMAGNE
What say you, sirrah?

DIDIER
I say and swear by all divinity
That can reward or punish.  ‘Tis most true
That with a sum of gold and further hopes
Of future honours, he did win my promise
To poison the great Palidine.

CHARLEMAGNE
This is direct.

GANELON
A direct villainy!
If such proofs may prevail  ‘gainst any man,
Any such slave discarded for’s bad life
May make his former master forfeit his.
You may in ten days hang up all your nobles
And yet have law for’t.  But if any man,
This slave except, although his sins would make
The sun put on a cloud to shun his sight
And the grass w<i>ther with his loathed <…>
Will justify this accusation,
I’ll remain destitute of all reply.

CHARLEMAGNE
Nephew, what other proof have you?

ORLANDO
Your majesty sees all,
Begin cut by reviser>
And the third part of that product ‘gainst me
Or ‘gainst another man, for any else,
Would be enough.
<end cut by reviser

REINALDO
Why, in such cases, where bast policy
Works on the lives of princes, God forbid
But one man’s oath should stand for testimony.

OLIVER
Especially where circumstances lead
Directly to the point he aimeth at.
All France doth know he hates the Palidine.

RICHARD
In sooth, I do not think so.  Envy’s tongues
Are sharp and many, and they ever cleave
Most to’th’oppressed, oft to the innocent.

LA BUSSE
Worthy Reinaldo, carry better thoughts.
My father is your servant and doth love you.

REINALDO
Would a’ loved virtue, as I know you do,
I then would honour him.  Upon my life,
In this he is most guilty.

CHARLEMAGNE
Come, no more.
There is some circumstance but no due proof
And from that ground my nephew shall perceive
How dearly I do prize him.  Ganelon,
Henceforth you never more shall see the court;
Y’are banish’d thence.  You have a country house;
Let that receive you.  When you thence depart
Your life is forfeit.  Away.

GANELON
I do obey your majesty.               [Exeunt  GANELON and LA BUSSE.

ORLANDO
Is this a punishment?

REINALDO
‘Tis a disgrace, best cousin.

DIDIER
And noble blood
Hath more sense of disgrace than wounds.

ORLANDO
Hence slave!
By heaven, a’ does reward him for his sin.
Was ever man like me unfortunate?
Not see the court!  Why, ‘tis the greatest favour
In a king’s gift and had his highness pleas’d
T’have me sent to death, we had both been eas’d.

Enter BISHOP TURPIN.

 CHARLEMAGNE
O, my dear sweet!  Where has my best friend been?
My joy of life, my age’s comforter,
Indeed, I’ve had a tedious miss of thee!

BISHOP TURPIN
What means your majesty?

CHARLEMAGNE
I mean to live forever on thy neck
And bathe thy bosom with my joyful tears.
O, thou art sweet and lovely as the spring,
Fresh as the morning or the blushing rose
When the bright sun doth kiss it.

ORLANDO
Ha?  What’s this?

BISHOP TURPIN
I am your poor weak servant; an old man
That have but only prayers to pleasure you.

CHARLEMAGNE
Thou art all beauty, spices and perfume;
A very mine of immortality.
These hairs are o’th’complexion of the sky,
Not like the earth, black brown and sullied.
Thou hast no wrinkles; these are characters
In which are writ love’s happiest history.
Indeed, I needs must kiss them; faith, I will. [Kisses BISHOP TURPIN.

ORLANDO
Wonder when wilt thou leave me.  This is strange.

REINALDO
Nay, far above my reading.

ORLANDO
Upon my life,
The old men will not ravish one another!

BISHOP TURPIN
Dear sir, forbear; see how these princes scorn
This too much wanton passion.

CHARLEMAGNE
They are joys
Too good for them to witness.  Come, my sweet,
We will in private measure out delights
And fill our wishes brim full.  France is thine
And he is but disloyal dare repent.

[Exeunt CHARLEMAGNE and BISHOP TURPIN.

ORLANDO
This vision I must follow.  When Charles grows thus,
The whole world shake!  This comet’s ominous.

[Exeunt all but DIDIER.

DIDIER
I am a politic coxcomb.  Honesty
And conscience are sweet mistresses, though to speak truth,
I ne’er us’d either merely for itself.
Hope, the last comfort of each living man,
Has undone me.  What course shall I take now?
I am worse than a game; both sides have lost me;
My conscience and my fortunes keep me fit
For any ill, Success may make all fair.
He that for naught can hope should naught despair.                     [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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